Win XP: Detecting/Installing new printers/drivers on logon

By nathaniell ·
How does one get windows workstations to automatically install printer drivers at logon?

We recently received a new network printer in the office. I was tasked with sharing this printer over the network using a VMWare XP machine as the server. The printer installed fine and the printer's visible to the "install printer" wizard when browsing the directory. I've been using con2prt.exe in netlogon.bat to push the printer configuration on logon. I logged on to another machine using administrator credentials and everything installed beautifully. When I logged onto the same machine using non-admin credentials afterwards, that worked perfectly as well.
When I log onto another computer with non-admin credentials without first logging as admin, however, the printers fail to install. The script returns the following error:

Failed to connect to Windows NT printer: <printer share>
Please check to see that the printer exists.

From the "add printers" wizard, the printers show up fine when browsing the directory. When I double click on them, though, the following error appears:

Windows cannot connect to the printer. Either the printer name was typed incorrectly, or the specified printer has lost its connection to the server.

I've tried enabling users to load drivers using a GPO (we run server 2003), but that has no effect. I could go around to every workstation, log off the user and load the drivers as admin, but that's tedious, disruptive and isn't a very scalable solution if the company grows much larger. I've seen visual basic scripts which can be used to configure printers, but that means putting the admin password in plain text somewhere on a network share, and my boss doesn't like that. There's got to be some better way to do this! Hopefully you guys can provide me with some answers.

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Re: Detecting/Installing new printers/drivers on logon

TCP printers are treated as a local printer, when you click on "Add Printer", I leave "local printer" checked, but remove the checkmark for auto detect. Then, on the next page, select "Create a new port", on the drop down menu, select "Standard TCP port"...then next you'll get to the spot when you configure the TCP address. On devices such as external jet direct boxes where you can't program the MIO's IP address like an internal jet direct card in something like an HP laserjet 4000n, I still use the makers latest software, like jet admin. Once the printer is captured on the server, I share it out, and all clients use the printer via UNC...such as \\servername\printersharename. Having all clients print directly to a TCP printer can flood a network with traffic (HP jet direct is very chatty, esp if installed on all workstations), and often lead to hosed printer jobs if several peeps send large print jobs at the same time. Having them all print to the server lets the server do part of it's job...capture all the print jobs and spool them/manage them.

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.
If this info is useful, please give a thumbs up. Thanks

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Re: Detecting/Installing new printers/drivers on logon

by nathaniell In reply to Re: Detecting/Installing ...

Those are instructions for installing a network printer onto the server and sharing it. I've already done that. What I need help with is a way to automagically push the printer config and driver install to non-admin users when they log on.

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If you have done all of the install and share...

Then they should work.
As long as the printers are connected and are ok then there should not be any problem. Could you not re-start your printers to see if there might be an issue with connections. If there are connection issues then re-install the printers again, you might need to give the printers another name for this to work.

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.
If this info is useful, please give a thumbs up. Thanks

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"Local" printer can only be installed by administrator.

by 1bn0 In reply to Re: Detecting/Installing ...

A TCP/IP connected printer is a "local" printer. If you have policies that prevent users from installing local printers they will not install. Printer must be insatlled by domain or local administrator account before other user accounts can "install" the printer.

If you already "installed" the printer under an admin account, when you log on under a user account the printer is not "installed" or visible in Printers and faxes but the user can now "add" the printer as the administrator has already added the required drivers by "installing" the printer under the admin account. It is the installatino of the driver files that prevents regular users from adding a new local printer.

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